Thermostat Wars Between Husband and Wife

Like a Murphy’s Law, it seems that most of us marry a body temperature opposite. What that means is that due to internal temperature, one needs the house a certain temperature to be comfy, while the other struggles at that temperature.

With it now becoming Springtime in Houston, and higher temps near 80 degrees, that means the thermostat power struggle between husband and wife is waging on in many households. The war over the heat setting is over, and now the chill factor is the topic of debate.

Or is power struggle too mild a term? For some, it is all out war.

Normally, the husband adjusts the thermostat to cooler internal temps, with the wife jockeying for warmer positions on the dial. (or digital pad for those homes in the computer age)

That’s how it always USED to be in my household  – I was always F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G until a weird recent phenomenon took place.

Middle age. And that other M word too that won’t be mentioned. (And by the way the title of this blog is a play on words – it means my Hot Topics more than it means the other)

Now, with my body running very, very warm (make that hot – burning HOT) I want the coolest temperatures possible in my home. An Alaskan winter is looking very good to me right now because I want my home temperature as cool as the average igloo according to my husband.

My husband on the other hand has a thing with his age and thyroid situation where he has been getting chilly all the time.

As usual, we are opposites in body temperature but the situation has completely reversed from before.

Before, it was not uncommon for me to be okay with the thermostat on 80 degrees of air conditioning in summer months along the aid of ceiling fans. I was always cold in air conditioning and had to bring my winter woolies to restaurants, malls and other over-air-conditioned places in the dead of summer. The thermostat at 80 was way too warm for my husband and he would creep it downward into the 70′s. And I would freeze. Too cold for me. Rinse, repeat.

Similarly, I used to put the thermostat high up into the 70′s in the winter during the few cold fronts where we required heat in Houston. He would push it down a bit. In a sneaky way of course, other than the times I would get lectured about energy conservation and costs.

Passive-aggressive behavior, if you ask me. One of us was grumbling all the time about the house temperature.

Now the conversation goes more like this:

Husband, as I am tiptoeing out of bed to the thermostat to push the temp downward: “Don’t touch that dial – I already adjusted it to 68 degrees and it is freezing in here!”

Me: “It is burning hot in this house! Put another blanket on!”

Husband: “Put your bedside fan on and leave the thermostat alone!” (as he erects a huge pillowed wall between us on the bed)

I think I mentioned in a previous blog about buying a bunch of tiny fans at a store at the end of last summer when they were 50 percent off. All I can ask now is, am I the only human that uses a small nightstand fan on full blast in the wintertime?

I think that answer would be no.

Our friend Drew was visiting our area from the North in the wintertime and kind of laughed about our mild temperatures compared to his winter. He was walking around in a tee shirt even with a cold front and some cooler temperatures in Houston last weekend, explaining that he loves cool air and that it was always a struggle with his wife wanting too much heat in the house until she turned middle age.

Drew: Oh, I love it now. The house is really cool, and I just put some blankets on while my wife kicks them off.

Geesh, that sounds familiar.

So wives and husbands out there, I am here to tell you that those thermostat wars waging right now are temporary! Husbands who like their house a bit chilly – Just wait till middle age.


  • If it is 69 in the house and someone is still hot , then there is a problem and that person needs to take off clothes or see a doctor!

  • The exact same war going on in my home. I used to sleep in flannel pajamas and socks to keep my cold feet warm. I now sleep almost nude, the ceiling fan is almost always on and it’s winter here…..a high of 17 today. I have the thermostat on 69 until about 9pm then it drops to 65 for the night, and I still get hot. My husband, who used to keep a window unit in his bedroom, making the room like an ice box, now complains he’s cold. I told him I have just finally given him what he’s wanted for 25 years. A nice, cool home with lower utility bills. I throw his own words back to him….”add layers, throw a sweatshirt on!” Love it!

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